Biased like adults feet?
Following our post about the American Academy of Pediatrics recommending barefoot-style shoes, here is the opinion of another group.
It is important to note that everyone agrees on the fact that fitting and comfort are essential in order to promote adequate foot development. However, the American Podiatric Medical Association goes further by approving specific shoes with their"Seal of acceptance / Approval program".
- "The APMA Seal of Acceptance/Approval Program recognizes products which have been found beneficial to foot health and of significant value when used in a consistently applied program of daily foot care and regular professional treatment." Click for link
Endorsed products must have gone through an evaluation that is not really scientific, despite what the website would like us to believe. To evaluate shock absorption properties is one thing, but to draw links between that property and injuries is a different thing. Actually, it is more philosophy than science, but I can accept their lack of rigor.
- "How is a product scientifically evaluated? A detailed scientific evaluation is conducted by each committee member on every product. The overall scientific evaluation on each footwear product includes the following: adequate toe-box dimensions; lining material texture; seam friction; durability; flexibility; slip resistance; thickness; and shock absorption of outsole; durability; shock absorption; cushioning and removability of insole materials; breathability and durability of upper; type of shank and total ground contact; heel counter support; heel height and stability; comfort; size range; and weight of shoe."
I'm questioning myself about the consequences of these recommendations and about the scientific evaluation process itself. Indeed, recommended shoes for children include many big cushioned shoes such as ASICS Gel-Cumulus, Nimbus and Kayano.
- "Find out what models of athletic footwear and other running gear have been given APMA’s Seal of Acceptance." Click for link
They completely lost me when I read on that same website that ASICS is a corporate sponsor...
- "Corporate Members represent companies ranging from the athletic footwear business to the pharmaceutical industry. Funds received through this program enable APMA to enhance services to its members while also providing public information and education to the general population on podiatry."
Si, if I understand well, do podiatrists members of the APMA analyze shoes coming from companies funding the APMA to put their seal of acceptance without scientific evidence and tell the general public that these shoes are "beneficial to their feet's health"? Are these type of recommendations, combined with the companies' recommendations the arguments on which shoe shops support their own recommendations of cushioned shoes with elevated heels for children and adolescents? Let's be serious!